Tiananmen Square Essays

Tiananmen Square Essays-23
In the end, I find the stamps a powerful tool for uncovering the complexity of the events of 1989.

In the end, I find the stamps a powerful tool for uncovering the complexity of the events of 1989.

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Although China is located quite far from Eastern Europe, dissidents in Eastern Europe identified with the struggles by opposition leaders in China and used images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising to reinforce memories of resistance in Eastern Europe.

Unofficial sources of information became an essential tool for survival inside each of the Communist countries of Eastern Europe.

In other words, the Polish government was commemorating events that happened after their own victory. provided some substantial economic aid to post-Soviet Poland, the students had to look at the stamps again and think how an American audience might examine these stamps.

This observation opened up another discussion on the connection between Solidarity and the United States after the fall of Communism. In this context, the stamps were not only about highlighting the peace of Poland’s experiences versus the violence of the Chinese but also an appeal for economic assistance, because of Poland’s successful transition from Communism.

I laid out the lecture considering two paths toward reforming Communist regimes-one economic as in China, the other political as in Poland with the rise of Solidarity.

For China, I prepared the events in Tiananmen in the spring of 1989 by discussing such events as Nixon’s “opening”of China in the 1970s, the Chinese “Most Favored Nation” trade status with the United States, and the rising student protest movement.In this framework, much of the course lectures, discussions, and sources related to colonial contacts.The Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe after World War II was just one of a series of Cold War colonial issues, as was the emergence of Chinese Communism.Citizens more readily believed rumors than newspapers, radio, or television, which were inherently compromised by state censorship.It is increasingly hard for students in our media-saturated era to envision a society in which text-messaging was not immediately available.The students’ first reactions focused on the large ideas—that Solidarity could remind Poles of their peaceful success in Poland by contrasting it with the failed, and violent, events in China.Several students picked up quickly that the images themselves were taken from the photos that I had shown them earlier, and this created an opportunity to discuss why these particular photos were famous.I had to ask explicitly why the stamps were marked “Tiananmen Square” (noticeably in English) on a stamp that also had in Polish.Furthermore, it was important to note that the important Roundtable Talks in Poland occurred before the events of Tiananmen Square.I used this stamp set in a world history survey, as part of a lecture covering the fall of Communism.I focused on two major events, the rise of Solidarity and the Chinese economic reforms, and in this stamp these two strands of history overlapped in a very effective way.


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